By RUTH SHARPE
Simple Minds perform in the Algarve
THOSE WHO have seen the classic 1985 film, The Breakfast Club, will be familiar with the title track, Don’t You (Forget About Me), a song that eventually became one of the defining songs of the 80s. When Simple Minds recorded that track, they were unknown in the US, but within days of the film’s release, the band catapulted to stardom. They went straight to number one in the US and many other countries around the world.
The Scottish band was formed seven years earlier, in 1978, by founding members Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill. Their early sound captured the electronic style, popular at the time, and was heavily influenced by the band Kraftwerk. After landing a support slot for Peter Gabriel, they started to gather a fan base in Europe, but it was not until their fifth album, New Gold Dream, in 1982, that the band emerged into the public eye.
They changed their image and produced a radio friendly, ‘new wave’ album, which included the hit singles Promised You a Miracle and Waterfront. Their next album, Sparklehorse, saw another change in musical style, producing rock orientated songs, which many claimed were vain attempts to imitate U2. This comparison to the Irish rockers would stay with them for much of their career, even though U2 frontman, Bono, was great friends with the group and occasionally performed with them.
In 1985, following on from the success of Don’t You (Forget About Me), the band quickly released the album, Once Upon a Time, described by Rolling Stone Magazine as “commercial stadium rock”. It produced four hit singles in the US and UK.
Now, having achieved global success, the band toured extensively, performing at stadia and venues worldwide, but their powerful stage presence, combined with lyrics full of Christian symbolism, drew further comparisons to U2.
They took on more of a political stance, when they promoted Amnesty International in conjunction with their tour. Street Fighting Years was released in 1989 and was a politically charged and distinctly radio unfriendly collection of songs. When the media got hold of some of their controversial lyrics written about Nelson Mandela, their popularity ended in America.
Simple Minds went into the 90s producing more commercial music, but the popularity of the grunge movement at that time effectively ended all mainstream success for the band.
After years of record company problems, Simple Minds returned in the new millennium with Cry, a heavily keyboard driven record, which started to give them some media attention again.
Their latest offering, Black & White 050505, is also receiving good reviews and the band is currently embarking on a world tour, which will bring them to Europe this summer to play the festival circuit.
Simple Minds arrive in Portugal on July 28, when they will perform in the Algarve Rocks festival, staged at the Algarve Stadium in Faro. This brand new event for the Algarve is being organised by Premier World and is sponsored by Loulé and Faro Câmaras. The show begins at 7.30pm with a performance from Pitty, the Brazilian star who recently performed at Rock in Rio-Lisboa, followed by Sean Paul. Simple Minds will headline the night, taking the stage at 10.30pm.
• Tickets are available at tourism information points, Fnac stores, www.ticketline.pt, www.plateia.iol.pt, El Corte Inglês and the Algarve Stadium, and cost 40 euros for the east and west stands and 35 euros for the south stands and grass (standing).